Water Quality

Man Working in LabratoryProtection Agency (EPA) and Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MADEP) regulations. The water treatment facility is manned by an experienced dedicated crew that accomplishes by taking an every changing river water source and transforming it into potable drinking water. Unfortunately, not all residents receive an aesthetically pleasing water due to an aged water distribution system. But all residents do receive a safe drinking water.

MADEP administers and dictates regulations for drinking water standards. A set of categories of contaminants and a time line for analysis of those contaminants are issued by MADEP. Contaminates include:

  • Cryptosporidium: a parasitic protozoan that inhabits some source water. Can be extremely harmful to immunocompromised individuals.
  • Haloacetic Acids: a disinfection by-product that have shown to produce carcinogenic activity in laboratory animals
  • Inorganics: contaminants that include antimony, barium, mercury and sodium
  • Lead and Copper: these chemicals occur at the residents locations from old lead solder joints and copper plumbing.
  • Nitrates: originates from fertilizers; especially dangerous for children due to the fact that it interferes with oxygen carrying capability in blood
  • Nitrites: originates from fertilizers
  • Perchlorates: this is a naturally occurring chemical and manmade; usually fire fireworks or rocket propellants
  • Secondary Contaminants: a non health threatening list of chemicals, including: iron, sulfate, chloride and zinc.
  • Synthetic Organics: these usually contain pesticides, PCB and dioxin
  • Total Coliform: a species of bacteria used for indication of microbiological contamination
  • Trihalomethanes: a disinfection by-product that have shown to produce carcinogenic activity in laboratory animals
  • Volatile Organics: benzene, dichloromethane and vinyl chlorides are small list

Water Quality Labratory

Further Analysis

The above list is tested on a schedule determined by MADEP; all results are under the maximum contaminant levels (MCLs). Other analysis for process control at the treatment plant are tested many times a day to insure efficient operation. Below are some common levels of water quality:

  • Alkalinity 27.1 milligrams per liter (mg/L)
  • Hardness: 28 mg/L or 1.6 grains per gallon; considered soft water
  • pH: 8.0 to 8.4
  • Sodium: 38 mg/L